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16 July 2015

We hiked up Twin Peaks this weekend with the 35mm f2.8 Nikkor (and a polarizer) mounted on our Nikon D200. It was windy but warm and fairly clear if not quite as clear as it is after it rains.

San Francisco. Use the scroll bar or your finger. The original image is about 10 times taller than this JPEG.

Funny how knowing you have a trick up your sleeve like Photo Merge's new Panorama option in Lightroom CC 2015.1 can inspire you to look for panoramas wherever you are. And at the top of Twin Peaks, you don't have to look too hard for a panorama. It's right at your feet.


We set the camera to Manual mode. Even with the polarizer, we were able to set ISO to 200 instead of 400. We set our aperture to f11 and the shutter speed to 1/160 second based on the exposure we measured of downtown, which would be the midway point of our six exposures.

As we composed each of the six frames in the panorama, we were careful to spot a feature in the right-hand side of the frame before moving the scene right, from the Golden Gate Bridge south to Noe Valley. We lined up the next shot with our feature in the left-hand side of the frame so we had plenty of overlap for Lightroom to work with.

We converted our Raw captures into DNGs on import, selected the set in Lightroom and ran the Panorama command on them to get a 14,360 x 2,768 pixel DNG. We worked on that file in the Develop module, tapping into the new Dehaze control to cut down on the atmospheric haze.

We spent a good long time scrolling across the full-size image, identifying landmarks and old haunts. The detail in the huge image exceeded what we could see by naked eye or even in the camera.

And we spent a good long time trying to find a way to show the huge file to you here, too. But all of our attempts were frustrating small views on a lot of data. So we carved out a slightly larger view for the image that lets you scroll horizontally to see it all.

The original panorama is 10 times taller than the resampled image above. There's quite a bit more detail in it, of course. The 100 percent crops below give you some idea how much more. But they're only 500 x 281 pixel peeks at that 14,360 x 2,768 pixel image.


When we're on Twin Peaks, we always enjoy listening to the people around us hunt for landmarks from the viewing area (where this was taken). Where they spent the night is usually first. The bridges are obvious enough. City Hall can take some squinting. Coit Tower is nearly hidden.

Even if you can find them yourself, it's nearly impossible to describe where they are to someone standing next to you.

So we thought we'd point out a few with labeled thumbnail that refers to the 100 percent cropped images in a little slide show. The yellow number represents the number slide in the sequence (which you can identify by its caption, revealed when you mouse over or tap the image).

Details. Mouse over or tap for captions describing these 100 percent crops.

If you have your smartphone with you when you go up there, you can tap into this story for a little help identifying things. And if you're not on Twin Peaks (and most of us aren't), see if you can find the slide show images in the panorama above.

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